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10 Incredible Endings To Otherwise Terrible Sci-Fi Movies

Last minute twists, killer "he's been dead the whole time" moments, and a few good bad trips...

Universal Pictures

Not every bad movie ends badly. For whatever reason, every once in a while an otherwise woeful flick will somehow pull an unexpectedly superb ending out of the bag, throwing together a denouement which surprises a by-now bored audience with its sudden and shocking quality.

Now make no mistake—the endings we’ve listed here are all featured in otherwise awful sci-fi flicks, so it’s not like they necessarily make much sense or actually add up for eagle eyed viewers. There’s a good chance these wild turns actually unravel the stories of the films preceding them, but their sheer shocking daring and ingenuity have nonetheless seen them elevate the flicks they’re attached to into guilty pleasure status.

Here's 10 best endings to the worst sci fi flicks, and what makes each one such an unexpected success.

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10. Phase IV

Paramount Pictures

The first feature film from Saul Bass, the designer behind Hitchcock’s iconic opening title sequences, Phase IV is a trippy seventies sci-fi effort which doesn’t do an incredible job of selling its more than a little surreal premise. After some mysterious interstellar event, ant colonies begin acting strangely in the depths of the desert, drawing humans into conflict with their diminutive but now super-smart bugs armies.

What ensues is a sci-fi trip so laughably bizarre that it was featured on bad movie cult comedy series Mystery Science Theatre 3000. But then comes the unexpectedly stunning, strange ending wherein a 2001: A Space Odyssey trip into colourful sci-fi surrealism elevates the entire preceding film into enjoyably odd genre territory, rather than typically trashy creature feature tier.

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Cathal Gunning hasn't written a bio just yet, but if they had... it would appear here.